Author Visits


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Bringing History to Life

How many times have you heard kids groan about history lessons? In this multimedia workshop, students get plugged in. Kelly shows a slideshow of images and shares how history inspired her books. Then, she takes kids on an inspiring tour of her writing process from story idea to publication. She gives them a peek at her first draft, revisions and engages them in discussing why particular editorial decisions were made. The session ends with a freedom song or spiritual, reading and Q&A.

Mine Your Life For Story Gold – A Writing Residency

In this five-day residency, Kelly compares the quest to write personal narratives to a treasure hunt. She helps students understand that moments and memories offer rich inspiration for stories drawn from their lives. The journey starts with exploring picture books. Next, students learn the best place to find gold is within themselves. They write from story prompts that encourage them to mine their experiences.

As students start their drafts, they learn how to infuse their stories with emotion, meaning and sensory detail. Next comes the sift and swirl process. Just like a prospector, students have to sort out the muck from the gold. They use tips on revision to strengthen and polish their stories and give constructive feedbqack to their peers. The final day features readings and a celebration of their achievement.  

From Sit-Ins to Marches: Children & Civil Rights

In this interactive performance, students learn the history behind two of Kelly's books: NEATE: Eddie's Ordeal and One Million Men and Me. They see pictures featuring young people involved in the Civil Rights Movement and the Million Man March, explore the process of turning an idea into a finished book, learn a freedom song and participate in a reading.

*** Great program for students before a trip to Washington, DC.

Skype Visits

Kelly also offers Skype visits. Please contact her at for information and fees.

Custom Workshops for Kids

Kelly can customize presentations or workshops for your class, community group, book club or church. She enjoys exploring history, celebrating family relationships and talking about how to write personal essays and picture book manuscripts.

2018-2019 Fees

Please contact Kelly at for information on scheduling and fees. For locations outside of the NC Triangle area, travel and lodging (if necessary) rates apply.

Book Orders

If you'd like signed copies of my books, you can order them through Quail Ridge Books and Music - 919-828-1588. Let them know how many copies you want and how you'd like them personalized.

If you would like to order directly from the publisher for Ellen's Broom, Tea Cakes for Tosh or Hope's Gift, call Penguin’s Author Appearance Order Processing Department at 866-206-5865. Schools and libraries are eligible for a 40% discount and the books are returnable.

To order directly from the publisher for One Million Men and Me and NEATE: Eddie's Ordeal, call  or email Just Us Books Director of Sales, Willie Hudson at 973-672-7701 or

You can also purchase copies of my books through online booksellers such as, and



At her first Georgia signing, Kelly autographs NEATE posters and copies of "Eddie's Ordeal" at South DeKalb Mall's Learning Tree Book Store.